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Chapter Fourteenth: The Temple of Doom

Chapter Fourteenth: The Temple of Doom

“Using laymen and women terms for greater clarity, while you lot have been zipping around the galaxy, Doctor Phrodite and I have devised a simple plan to save your careers. Well, the Society has inspected the Temple of Doom, and it appears like it was built to only be entered by a force sensitive. Naturally, the Society could have entered the temple by now, but we have not yet bothered. This is where your group comes in, if you were to enter the temple and access its secrets, I believe I could convince the Society of Scientists to spare you.” “Where is the temple?” “Well, it is actually located very proximate to Korriban, as compared to nearly any other possible location in the galaxy..” “Right next to Korriban, the home of the Sith? What a bad place to hide it.” “Would the Jedi think to look there? They certainly have not, though they never did do much thinking to begin with... It is located in an asteroid field nearby. I will download the coordinates to the Stella Marina; you are still flying around in that modified YT-1000, yes?” Julie rolled her eyes. “So all we have to do to clear our name is traverse the galaxy and hope we are not killed by pirates, delve into an asteroid field where we could easily be smashed into space junk by giant rocks, and enter an ancient Sith temple likely filled with all manner of traps where one of us is bound to die. Yah, that sounds like a great way to repay delivering the Empire a cookie recipe.” “Miss Juliana Caesilia Augustus, your team, excluding one member, betrayed the Society. We have often stated that the loyalty of our members is our greatest concern. The rules for agent conduct were set forth to protect us from the Sith. Since then, the fear of betrayal has been our greatest fear; for only the Society can beat the Society. That is why we are so harsh on your group which would otherwise have done us no wrong. I am being very generous aiding you when doing so could easily lose me my position as head of hypermatter science if not get me terminated. Go to Korriban, enter the asteroid field, and gain access to the Temple of Doom. Oh yes, you will want to take your Society multitool with you to access any holocrons and to catalogue information your group comes into conflict with. Until then, I will keep our agents from… dealing with you.” “Thank you Nephron, it means… our lives.”   The group wasted no time in blasting of to Korriban. “Theeg, I can not believe you nearly got my entire family killed.” “Technically speaking, you were more likely to be killed by the Society then by the Empire. I did what would least likely end what with your death and most likely the end better what for the galaxy at large… Well for me at any rate.” “Anyway, can you believe that after all we have done for the Society, they would turn on us so quickly?” “Jewel, you really shouldn’t act like we are the victims; the Society was just defending themselves. Any way, it is not like they have not given us a chance to make everything the way it was before.” “(Sigh), let us just get this job done with. It is a little bit cool that we will be entering a place that the Emperor himself would love to enter, but can not because he does not know where it is.” Theeg skillfully flew Stella to Korriban and through the asteroids. Fortunately, the field was very spacious, and Stella easily fitted through. Within an hour of maneuvering through the rocks, Stella came up upon an ominous black building floating among the debri. It was built like a castle, with insidious ramparts covered with spikes. The temple was the size of a large capital ship and had a docking bay that beckoned them forwards. Theeg looked apprehensively at the bay, before speaking. “No ways I’m leaving my Stella what to be smashed to pieces by these rocks, nor is I landing her what on that dock.” “It is okay, dear,” said Jade. “Both Janus and I are perfectly capable of flying.” “I happen to have much experience with the YT-1000 model. Before the war, Constantine and I used to restore all manner of ships, and the YT-1000 was a common ship in its day.” “Well then, it’s settled. Theeg, Julie, Jasmin, Roorwoor, and Krirch will follow me into the temple and Jama and Janus will remain behind to ensure Stella is safe.” “Hey Dalph, are you not forgetting something?” “What am I forgetting Jewel?” “None of us can stay conscious for more than ten seconds in outer space.” “Proplum what be solved. I’s got pressure suits and breath masks what for ten.” “Ten suits and mask seems like a lot for a slicer who travels by themselves.” “I’ll ignore the fact that you left out the fact I travel with Stella and shall go what to mention that I used to carry passengers last year. More masks, more better.” “Well then, let us suit up and get inside that temple.”   The group put on the atmosphere suits Theeg had gathered for them. The suits would resist the depressurization of space, while the masks could provide six hours of breathable atmosphere. The group exited Stella through a hatch that prevented the air in Stella from escaping. Using magnetic shoes, the six slowly worked their way towards two ominous black doors. Dalphnie reached out her hand towards the doors, but they opened on their own before her hand could grasp their handles. “Well that was creepy. Dalph, do you have any idea what else to expect from Bane?” Julie radioed over the comlinks, for sound can not travel in space. “I would expect the Sith to have all matter of traps prepared for us. Everyone, follow my lead.” The group entered the temple. Once they passed the gateway, the temple had its own gravity and atmosphere. The group disabled their magnet shoes and lowered their masks. They walked into a great hall decorated with tapestries and banners bearing Sith symbolism. Statues and other Sith artifacts covered the walls and floors. “Hey Dalph, maybe you chose the wrong side. This temple makes the Sith look cool.” “Well, I know the Society will certainly want to catalogue these articles of Sith culture. Let’s keep going. If the temple has any defences, the Society will want us to deal with them.” As the group continued forward, they came to a cross-passage. Down each passage a strange energy was calling. Generally Dalphnie would never have suggested such a notoriously bad decision, but the Sith energies made people make poor choices. “Maybe it would be a good idea for us to split up so we can search the entire temple.” “Well if we are going to divide and conquer,” Jasmin said, “we had minus well divide in the most logical order. Dalphnie and Theeg should form one group, Roorwoor and Jewel should form another, and I and Krirch should form the third.” “Julie can’t speak Wookie.” “Ohh. Well if someone had been paying attention to their studies... I take it you can speak Shyriiwook Dalphnie, but that would ruin our power curve. Our group has three combatents and three specilists. If we shift the members so they are not equally distributed, then our chance of success is decreased.” “Hey Jem, how about you go with Roorwoor. I mean you do understand Shyriiwook. I will take Theeg with me, and Krirch and Dalphnie can go together.” “Clearly you spent your time hunting, what, pushover Hutt smugglers. Had you any tactical experience, you would know that putting two glass cannons together is a notoriously bad idea.” “But since we both had similar talents, we can both sneak. Had I or Theeg been with anyone else, we would not be able to take advantage of stealth.” “Well what do I know, I only served in the MILITARY.” “What do I know, I only served in Imperial INTELLIGENCE.” “Jasmin, Julie does have a point.” “Fine, Roorwoor and I will go right.” “I calls the direction what is left.” “Then Krirch and I will head straight.”   Julia and Theeg moved quietly down the chamber. Ahead of them the floor fell away, and a series of pillars were the only way to traverse the casyms. The jumps between the pillars was far wider than what either Julie or Theeg could hope to jump. Fortunately, Theeg and Julie pulled out their grappling hooks and simply swung over the challenge. On the other side of the casym, Theeg and Julia were surprised to hear a voice. “Did I spend five days creating that casym so two petty thieves could just swing over it? No! I created it to test Jedi and Sith. Leave now!” the deep voice muttered. From in front of the two, a black robed warrior began to slowly walk towards them. “You know, sneaking after my actual guest was not very nice. You two force illiterates really shouldn’t be here.” “Well I would hardly call us force illiterates. I mean technically you are the one who knows less about the Force. WE work for the Society of Scientists.” “Society? In my time they were simply known as the Eveque de Léser, ancient enemies of the Sith... I have no quarrel with you psychopaths. You are after all, enemies of the Jedi as I am myself. I do, however, have a problem with the foes of my hier, Darth Sidious.” “Wew, Julia here used to work for Sidious, so I guess you have no problem with us then.” “I will have no problem with you...” The Sith, some reincarnation of Darth Bane, rushed towards them lightsaber drawn. Julie and Theeg nodded to each other. As the apparition swung its attack, Julie and Theeg dodged under the blade while blasting the creature from either side. The ghost fell forwards before getting back to its feet. “You show real talent, but you can not kill that which is already dead.” Bane rushed after them again. This time Julie and Theeg ran away. “Yes! Flee! The dark side is inescapable!” In truth, Julie and Theeg knew Bane was more than what they could handle and they were trying to stall until they could group back up with Dalphnie, who would know what to do….   Roorwoor and Jasmin had better luck. They approached a large room filled with blasters lining the walls. “So, Roorwoor, did you notice the runes as we entered; clearly the weapons on the wall will animate and begin to fire at us.” “Gruuhm, ooh rool.” “Yes I am bluffing, but does the Sith sorcery know that?” “Yhyyt, hrooot. Wrooat ooor urr.” “Come on, let us just keep moving.” As Jasmin and Roorwoor were about to exit through the other side of the armory, weapons did start to animate and the blasters set their sights on the two. Roorwoor and Jasmin were prepared and both casually tossed thermal imploders over their shoulders without even looking behind themselves. The weapons in the armory included numerous demolitions, and so the armory was soon reduced to rubble. “Wroork woor brut.” “Yes we did. Yes we did...” Said Jasmin as the two fistbumped.   Dalphnie and Krirch had headed straight. They found themselves in a central chamber dedicated to Bane’s many feats. Numerous statues of Sith warriors locked in conflict with Jedi knights surrounded the room. A large statue of Bane was at the center of the room. “Dead end,” Krirch muttered. “Well I’m not surprised. Bane was anything but straightforward… Get it.” “Yah, the joke was gotten. Should we double back and see if Miss Augustus or Mr. Roor needs our help?” A guttural voice emanated from the central statue. “Why leave. There is much I could teach you.” “Who are you?” “I am Darth Bane, but I assume you knew that. Now all you have to do is make you friend leave the room. I can show you my secrets, but he would never understand.” “There is no way Dalphnie is being left by me.” “You are brave, warrior, but bravery lies intertwined with foolishness.” From the stone statues of Sith warriors, ghostly black spirits clawed their way into existence. They brandished red and purple lightsaber blades. “Now, a warrior's test. If you survive, Jedi, then I may have a use for you.” Dalphnie acted first. Using the force, she pulled one of the lightsabers out of the hands of one of the Sith inquisitors. Krirch caught the amethyst blade and stood back to back with Dalphnie. The Sith fell upon the two Society lackies. Dalphnie and Krirch were struggling to keep from being immediately sliced up, let alone standing any chance at counter striking. Krirch and Dalphnie both acted quickly. Krirch used his free hand to fling a thermal imploder into the crowd of Sith ghosts; meanwhile, Dalphnie used a force push to stagger the Sith. The two fell backwards before the imploder blasted several of the statues to dust. As the statues fell, the Sith that had climbed out of the statues that were broken screamed as they faded into dust. “Down with the statues!” Krirch shouted and leaped through the Sith warriors. Dalphnie saw as the Sith lightsabers passed directly through Krirch but inflicted no damage. Both of the two then ignored the ghosts, and brought down the statues. “I should have known they were just illusions.” “Come on Dalphnie, if this is the sort of traps this temple has, then going after the others would be a good idea.” They headed back to the cross passage. “Left or right?” “Knowing Miss Augustus and Mr. Steal, our help will be needed by them more.” “You’ll find minimal argument from me,” Dalphnie chuckled.   Theeg and Julie were being chased down the chambers by Bane. Ahead of them, a series of blade, flame, and bludgeoning traps made continued travel dangerous. That said, a Darth Lord was even more deadly. Julie and Theeg wasted no time placing as many traps as possible between them and Bane. They easily dodged between blades, carefully maneuvered around the flamethrowers, and managed to avoid the flails. They looked behind them to see Darth Bane momentarily pause at the start of the traps. He casually stepped forwards as the blade traps passed right through him. “Let’s keep going J,” said Theeg before sprinting off. Julie followed hot on his heels.   Jasmin and Roorwoor had not yet encountered any trouble. They found themselves entering a large room with glass walls, tanks full of evil looking eels and ugly octopodes, behind which they could peer into the depths of outer space. The sloughing water gave off a strange smell. “Hriat wrut.” “My thoughts personified.” The room was a dead end. Roorwoor and Jasmin took a careful look around, before sprinting backwards. Just as they did, the tanks opened and water came flooding after them. They had only ran for ten seconds before the powerful current swept them off their feet and back towards the armory. The eels and octopodes swarmed the two, wrapping their slimy bodies around limbs and necks. Roorwoor, being a wookie, was easily able to wrestle off the sea creatures. As the water began to shallow out, Roorwoor was able to help dislodge the tendrils that were grasping Jasmin as well. Jasmin sputtered from the water he had swallowed. Around him, writhing creatures slunk around into the puddles that had formed. “Urrat narru errah.” “‘cough’, lets go, ‘cough’, follow Jewel, ‘cough’.”   Julie and Theeg continued forwards, Bane in pursuit. “Theeg, Dalphnie can not help us if we keep moving farther away from her. We both know that Dalph’s and Jem’s groups took the wrong ways.” “Shhh, he cans hear you,” panted Theeg. The two of them continued to hurry forwards. The passage angled right and upwards. “Give in to fear!” “Give in to this!” Julie hurled an impact grenade at Bane. He was blasted into pieces. A second later, Bane’s pieces reformed and he hastened in his pursuit. “Feel the burning in your legs. Give into your fear. Your friends will never reach you in time, and even if they did, what good is a green Jedi against a Sith Lord?” “I know Sith well enough. Also Dalphnie is a blue jedi; what are you, colorblind?” said Julie as she stopped running. Bane slowed his pursuit, but continued to inch towards Julia. “What of us do you know?” “I know you are greedy, you are conniving, and that you are sneaky.” “Is that all?” “I trained with your heir’s, Darth Sidious’s, inquisitors.” Bane's eyes began to glow red at that word, inquisitors. “What do you mean inquisitors! I made clear that there can only be two, a master and an apprentice! One to rule, the other to desire!” “Ohh, then you know nothing about what is going on outside of this temple. How have those, what a thousand years, been treating you?” “Far better then I will treat you!” Julie and Theeg continued to sprint, but this time Bane was looking to kill them. The passage sloped upwards until it ended in a large throne room. Bane’s blood lay in a jar on his throne; the rest of his remains were in his tomb on Korriban itself. Julie and Theeg were trapped…   Dalphnie and Krirch hurried to the pillar room. “Dalphnie, the jumps can be made by you and then you can lift me across?” “Ohh, that’s a good idea.” And so, Dalphnie crossed casym after casym. Careful jump after careful jump. Halfway through, she lifted Krirch with the force, and placed him on the opposite ledge. Dalphnie started to make the remaining jumps. Suddenly, Darth Bane appeared behind Krirch and in one force push, sent him sprawling as he fell hundreds of feet down the casym, his cry for help fading as he descended into the depths of the pit. “Noooo!” Dalphnie screamed. Bane faded away, as Dalphnie quickly crossed the remaining pillars of stone. “Krirch!” She called down the crevice, but there was no answer. No sound came up the casym. Tears filled Dalphnie’s eyes, but a minute later, she continued to push forwards, lightsaber drawn.   Jasmin and Roorwoor started to get a move on. They came to the intersection, but headed straight when they saw plumes of smoke drifting out of that chamber. They ended up in the statue garden and found it smashed up. “Looks like Dalphnie and Krirch came here and, well I suppose that Sith came out of the statues. I say this temple is rather obvious. I mean at least Bane could have built less cliche defenses.” “Whriia, grouah!” “A what is behind who?” Suddenly, a black cloaked figure lashed out upon Jasmin with a blast of Sith lightning. Jasmin went flying backwards and fell in a motionless heap on the ground. Roorwoor shot a blast at Bane’s head that Bane casually cast back at Roorwoor, knocking him unconscious as well.   Dalphnie came up upon the traps that Julia and Theeg had so skillfully avoided. Dalphnie cast her lightsaber ahead of her. It sliced the blades and flails to pieces and obliterated the flamethrowers. “Yes, give into that rage. Your friends have all failed. You alone can reach my summit.” “You’ll never win.” “Win what? Only you can win or lose. I am beyond winning” Dalphnie quickly covered the remaining distance between her and Bane’s throne room. Ahead of her she saw a figure shrouded in black. “Now, you have passed all of my tests save one last one.” Bane strode backwards to where five individuals lay encapsulated in red crystle. “No!” shouted Dalphnie as she saw the other members of her party in some kind of vile, torturous prison. “Let them go! You can have me but let them leave.” “I already have you. But I will let them leave… all but one. Use your lightsaber to shadder one of them. The other four shall then be released and may then leave.” “No I won’t.” “How about this Jasmin individual. You hardly know him.” “I can't kill Julie’s brother.” “Well then, this sand person has no family. He would even willingly let you kill him, if to save the others.” “I… I couldn’t….” “Fine then, there is one in your party that none care for. One with no family or friends, but many enemies. One of you who cares not for the others but is using you to protect himself from the Society. One who you know as a fact has little moral obligation to his allies. Remember how quickly he turned on Saladam Ghustun; will you give him that chance to betray you?” “Theeg is my friend.” “But is he? What reason has he given you to believe in his honor? He betrayed your party over my holocron did he not. He will do so again if given half a reason.” “Fine, I admit that Theeg is the least trustworthy member of our party… at least now that Julie has shown her true colors. But I would rather give my own life then his.” “You cannot kill yourself. Not unless I let you.” “Then I suppose I will have to kill you.” “Kill me! How? What use is a lightsaber against me. What use is your minuscule grasp of the force.” “Who said I needed to grasp the power I wield.” Dalphnie drew the Society multitool. The binocular shaped device was coated with various lenses and gadgets. Dalphnie pressed a button on the device and pointed it at Bane who was looking at it confusedly. “Behold, the power of the Society!” “WHAT IS THIS!!!” Bane screamed as the multitool bombarded his psyche with a million mind manipulations all at once. Bane screeched and the crystal prisons shattered as the Sith energy fell apart. The Society might not command any physical forces. They might not be able to blow up planets with the weapons had put together. However, they were very good at making short work of even the most powerful Jedi and Sith. Bane’s remains sizzled on the floor as the other four took hold of their senses once more. All five of them were still alive. “Krirck! You’re alright,” she said rushing to her friend. “Yes, ummm… What happened. An almost ten minutes happened before I blacked out.” “Darth Bane captured you five and used you to tempt me with the dark side. Then I remembered that Nephron had us take the multitool with us.” Jasmin spoke with one hand on his forehead and the other smoothing his ruffled hair, “That chunk of gadgetry defeated Bane?” “He was not expecting such a powerful force blast.” “Yah, maybe splitting the party was a tactical mistake after all,” Jasmin said shaking off the remainder of the Sith lightning’s effects. “Yah yah, Theeg and I ran into Bane almost immediately. If it wasn’t for Bane’s incorporeality we would have killed him, but as it is, a force ghost is not easy to slay.” “Well as long as we are all alive.” “Waiaiaiaiaiait. Where’s be the sourse o’ all the Sith magics? I mean, if Bane be dead then he has to got some way to blast his magic outside of hisself.” “I do remember something on that by Master Laeirouy. Force ghosts are usually only visible to those that knew the person in life. None of us would be old enough to have known Bane. Even Roorwoor is only a tenth of the age he would have needed to be, which would suggest that Bane used some sort of Sith artefact to channel the force.” Jasmin then spoke, “I am not an expert on Sith mythology, but would that urn of blood with the sigils be the source of the sorcery?” “Ohh, yah.” Upon a throne made of bones, fingernails, hair, and scales was a vase of blood that had belonged to Bane. Around this strange funneling device was runes of Sith origin and in and around the blood were strange Sith technologies. The artefact emanated profane energies. The group stared at the vat of blood. They knew that this device, above all other treasures in the temple, would be of utmost value to the Society. “So we take Bane’s blood back to Doctor Nephron and we should be cleared of our crimes.” “Shame, I bet Sidious would pay us better.” “Juliana Caesilia Augustus!” “What?”


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